Recap: DemoCamp Edmonton 14

Tonight was Edmonton’s fourteenth DemoCamp, held at the Telus Centre on the University of Alberta campus. We’re still going strong, with another excellent turnout tonight to see what local developers have been up to. And of course, the after party at Original Joes Varsity was absolutely packed. The general consensus tonight seemed to be that all of the demos were good, though a few definitely stood out.

DemoCamp Edmonton 14DemoCamp Edmonton 14

We had five demos:

  • The first demo was from David Ackerman, who showed us a Mac app he has been working on for writers. You can think of the app as a word processor on steroids. The idea is that as you type, relevant photos, Wikipedia articles, and other information appear alongside your text. In the demo, David typed “Developers, Developers, Developers!” and up popped an image of Steve Ballmer. It had the ability to adjust the amount of “stuff” that was surfaced as well.
  • Our second demo of the evening was iRecipeBook.net. Darcy Sabatino showed us the app he has been working on that lets you store and categorize your recipes via a simple, easy-to-use web interface. He noted that the interface looks great on an iPad, so it’s ready for you to use in the kitchen. Darcy had a bunch of ideas for future improvements too, such as sharing recipes with other users.
  • Ryan Ramage was up next to show us Ecko-It, a liferecording platform and audio wiki with the tagline “keep what you hear”. I think it is probably safe to say that Ecko-It was the most talked about demo of the evening. Ryan got off to a bit of a slow start, with lots of explanation, but the stuff he demoed was pretty impressive. Basically you use a Liferecorder, which is a little audio recording device, to capture an audio stream of your life. At the end of the day, you’d sync that audio with the Ecko-It software for tagging and categorization. Let’s say you tagged something “DemoCamp” – you could then with a single click see all of the other audio tagged DemoCamp. I can definitely see potential in the app, but personally I think there would be too much effort required for management of the audio. All of the software, including the hardware firmware, is open source.
  • Liang Shi, Tait Lawton, and Kevin Loney were up next, to show us Sizmio. Born at Startup Weekend back in February, Sizmio allows you to listen to the sounds of the world. Basically it’s an audio layer that sits on top of Google Maps or Google Earth. As you navigate around the map, you can hear different sounds. If you have an iPhone, you can record and upload sounds from your phone while you’re on the go. Very cool stuff, though most people seemed to think it could use some focus – perhaps audio tours or something like that.
  • Our final demo of the evening was also the first ever Windows Phone 7 demo at DemoCamp! Pieter Parker, Jeremey Burns, and Stephen Baden demoed their Windows Phone 7 game called Super Punch. They were one of 100 teams to compete in a 48-hour programming competition called the Great Canadian Appathon, and they won! They took their $25,000 in winnings and have since started a game studio called Bit Shift Games. As for the game, Super Punch looks like a lot of fun. The idea is to punch Dr. Competent as far as you can, with all kinds of power ups and environmental interactions to keep it interesting. I was pretty impressed with the game, especially considering they built it in just two days! As for when it’ll be available – the team said to stay tuned.

Sometimes a video helps to make sense of something. Here’s a quick video of Sizmio:

And here’s a quick video of Super Punch:

Though Ecko-It was the demo that most people seemed to talk about, my favorite was probably Super Punch. I could definitely see myself playing the game! I really love the concept behind Sizmio, and was pleasantly surprised by the progress the team has made since Startup Weekend. I think they could really have something. There’s a lot of intriguing technology behind Ecko-It, so it’ll be interesting to see where that product goes.

DemoCamp Edmonton 14DemoCamp Edmonton 14

We had a few announcements this evening:

  • Save the date for Startup Factory, a new conference and speaker series that focuses on the nuts and bolts of product and customer development for startups. It is scheduled to take place on Friday, June 10, with more information to follow.
  • TEC Edmonton’s annual VenturePrize Awards Luncheon is coming up on April 27th. You can get your tickets here. Vibe DX, lightPower, and CAD Crowd are the finalists that will compete for the top prize.
  • C100, the group behind 4 Days in the Valley, has another event coming up on July 13 called AccelerateAB. The idea is to connect Alberta entrepreneurs with speakers and other mentors. This year’s edition takes place in Calgary, but they are planning to bus a bunch of Edmontonians down for the event. Stay tuned for more information.
  • Be sure to sign up for the Startup Edmonton mailing list to learn more about these events and many others!

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. See you at DemoCamp Edmonton 15!

You can see the rest of my photos from the evening here.

  • Tait

    I liked David’s demo. I think that functionality could be killer-useful for translation! In translations of large game projects, we typically use a translation database; a database of proper nouns often associated with images; a Chinese-English dictionary; thesaurus; dictionary; Google; Google Image… Quite a bit right? It would be great if I could see relevant data as I was typing. For example, I type “Master Mack sliced the great ogre in two with his axe.” and I would see thesaurus entries for “sliced”, an image of Mack pulled from Google, images of an ogre and axe from the proper nouns database integrated via the API and a list of translations for each word. That’s useful.

  • Thanks again for the work in putting the recap together.

  • Thanks again for the work in putting the recap together.

  • Thanks again for the work in putting the recap together.

  • Thanks for the writeup, Mack. It was terrifying and fun at the same time to be able to finally present something at Demo Camp! Even better to get done first so I could sit back and enjoy all the others. As always, there was a lot of cool stuff to see.

    Tait, it was really interesting to hear the different ways people thought they could use a program that I’d only envisioned as making it easier to write fiction. I’ll have to add yours to the list ;-). I don’t know that my program could be quite as slick as in the scenario you outlined (yet!), but it will definitely get me thinking about what could be added to it to suit other uses like this.

  • Pieter Parker

    Hey Maq, Pieter here from Bitshift Games. We’re very happy that you liked Super Punch, and flattered that it was your favorite! You will definitely be one of the first people we tell when it comes out, and thanks for the great recap, we truly had a lot of fun.

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